Welcome back to what may be the final article for the Mass Effect:Andromeda game play series, as Bioware dropped its new and maybe its final gameplay series video, since it has no teaser at the end advising us of another.
In our last two articles we took an in depth look into Mass Effect:Andromeda’s combat systems, skills, weapons and upgrades, while today will be diving into whats known as, “The Heart of Mass Effect Andromeda.” Andromeda is based within the Helius cluster, which is populated with dozens of star systems. There are over a hundred planets to discover, however there are only a handful you can land upon, each holding their own stories, characters and challenges.
Exploration and Discovery:
The Tempest is your main source of travel within the game and it also allows you to navigate through the star systems of the Helius Cluster using its map to find planets, moons, anomalies and star ships. You will also be able to see them while walking near the ships windows, since everything is running off real time.
Within the game play video we visit the planet of Elaaden and explore a landing area called Paradise. This planet is mostly populated by the Krogan species and they have trust issues with the Pathfinder or any outsiders. Elaaden is a waste land with scarce amount of resources mainly water, its heat is hazardous however having the right tools allows you to survive its deadly terrain.
Before you set out on missions, you’ll receive an update from your A.I pointing out areas of interest as well as key locations.
Being overwhelmed by the massive open world can prove intimidating and walking isn’t the best option to cover that amount of ground, which is why you have the all terrain Nomad vehicle. Not only can this unique source of transport cover great amounts of travel but it can also be enhanced with upgrades such as turbo boosts, higher jump abilities, better handling and more.
Unfortunately many worlds within the Helius Cluster have their own global and local environmental hazards but fortunately the Pathfinder and the Nomad both are separately outfitted with life support systems to protect them, however these systems can be drained, so you’ll need to find a safe place to recharge.
While you’re exploring key objectives and uncover key locations you can call down what’s called a Forward Station. Forward Stations are used to Fast Travel back to a location, call back your Nomad if its lost or destroyed, change your current load out, resupply and protect you from environmental hazards.
Talking with locals can prove useful especially in helping you pinpoint the problems on the world, which is likely to open up new tasks to complete. The completion of these tasks helps raise Viability.
Increasing viability allows you to do two things:
- Allows you to build an outpost on a world
- Upgrade the Nexus (The Andromeda Initiative Space Station)
In order to build an outpost on a world you need to have at least 40% viability, this can be done by eliminating threats on the world, allying with locals, solving environmental problems and completing story related missions. In the case of Elaaden your relationship with the Krogan’s will determine if you can build there.
A.V.P (Andromeda Viability Points)
Exploring and discovering also earns you A.V.P, which is used for upgrading the Nexus as well as waking members of the initiative from cryosleep. Whoever you decide to wake will determine the perks and advantages you will receive. Covered in the game play series video these were the various types of members you have access to.
- Scientist – Gives you an edge in research and development.
- Military Personnel – Gives you an edge in combat.
- Merchant – Gives you more trading options.
Throughout worlds there are Ancient Vaults, which may be story related? Each one requires you to travel across worlds in order to open them. Once inside you will have to rely on every skill you have learned from environment navigation to puzzle solving and combat, it’s your job to get them online and survive.
Mass Effect: Andromeda is a game of exploration and discovery, you shape the path you walk as well as the future you walk into, and as Liam Costa the Security and Response Specialist for the Pathfinder Team says:
“With the right gear and the right skills, we’ll be ready for anything. Everyone has a role, but most importantly we’ve got each other’s backs!”
Mass Effect: Andromeda will be realeased March 23rd on PS4, Xbox One and PC.